HK's first Irish pub faces closure due to lease renewal issues

July 09, 2015 12:18
Delaney's failed to reach a lease renewal deal with its Wanchai landlord despite operating for 21 years on the premises. Photo: Delaney's

Irish pub Delaney's is set to close its flagship Hong Kong outlet in Wanchai next month following unsuccessful negotiations to renew the lease on the premises.

The company failed to reach an agreement with the landlord -- Sino Group -- despite having operated for 21 years on the property. 

Delaney's Wanchai was Hong Kong's first Irish pub. It became a favorite watering hole for many expats and office workers as it introduced and served up fresh pints of Draught Guinness beer. 

The Wanchai outlet was opened in August 1994 at the One Capital Place building on Luard Road. 

Noel Smyth, managing director of Delaney's, told Apple Daily that they never imagined that they would be leaving the place one day.

Delaney's managed to survive the SARS epidemic in 2003 and two financial crises in 1998 and in 2008, but little did they foresee that they would have to abandon the Wanchai operation due to problems with the landlord, Smyth said.

He said he is disappointed as Sino Group has opted to lease out the premises to the highest bidder through open tendering, rather than stick with an old client.

A spokesperson from Sino Group was quoted as saying that the company regrets that it wasn't able to reach a deal with Delaney's despite several rounds of discussions on lease renewal.

It remains to be seen if Delaney's manages to secure some other premises and continue to have a presence in the Wanchai area.

If it doesn't, patrons can visit the company's other outlets in the city -- in Kowloon and Pokfulam -- for their favorite tipple. 

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